It’s been four months since the announcement of a new health and wellness center for Buffalo’s Jefferson Avenue corridor. This week, neighborhood residents got the chance to see updated plans and voice their opinions on the project.
East Side businessman Herb Bellamy, Jr. is one of the principals involved in the project, which will be neighbored by a future stretch of 84 residential apartments and five commercial spaces.
Bellamy said while there are always pros and cons to any development, more pros were voiced by residents at a Monday night meeting inside the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Branch Library, during which Bellamy, along with Sinatra & Company Real Estate, CSS Construction, and Dr. Greg Daniel unveiled the latest renderings. Bellamy said the wellness center and apartments are something that has been needed in the neighborhood, and residents want to know more about them.
“It’s hard because that neighborhood has been neglected for a long time,” said Bellamy. “So some people don’t see the vision right away until we actually have brick and mortar. So once we do the brick and mortar and put things together, and get more progressive as we go, people will be more energized in seeing it.”
Bellamy said residents asked who will work at the health and wellness center and what other projects it is likely to spur.
“It was more about what else is going on and, unfortunately, people don’t know all the great things that are going on on Jefferson Avenue, and they don’t read about it. From my understanding of one, it was more so that, ‘This is not enough, what else is going on?’”
From the Jefferson Avenue business perspective, which Bellamy deals closely with, the view is that the new center is a positive addition to neighborhood’s commercial prospects.
Construction on the apartments and commercial space is expected to begin within the next couple of months, and be completed within a year and a half. The health and wellness center is still due to be presented to the city Planning Board. The timeline for that and future steps is still undefined.